Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.... more +
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.  ERISA requires plans to provide information to participants, establishes a grievance process,  and allows participants to sue for benefits or breach of fiduciary duties.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Third Circuit Says ERISA Administrative Appeal Denial Letters Must State Plan-Imposed Time Limits

The Third Circuit recently held that ERISA administrative appeal denial letters must include plan-imposed time limits for commencing a lawsuit challenging the claim denial, and the failure to provide such notice warranted...more

ERISA Plan Can't Shrink Deadlines Without Providing Notice, Says 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that an ERISA plan can’t shorten the deadline for filing a legal action challenging a denial of benefits unless the participant receives written communication of the plan’s altered...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2015

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, this month's Newsletter previews three cases that the U.S. Supreme Court already has agreed to hear that ought to be of particular interest to ERISA plan sponsors and...more

Sixth Circuit Enforces Subrogation Clause

The Sixth Circuit rejected a participant’s argument that the plan’s subrogation provision was not enforceable because it was only in the plan’s summary plan description, and not in the trust agreement that the participant...more

The Impact Of Obergefell On Employee Benefits

Prior to the Obergefell decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which mandated that federal laws only recognize opposite-sex marriages. As a result of...more

Eleventh Circuit Addresses Statutory Penalty Claims under ERISA

The ERISA statute authorizes a court to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on the failure of an Administrator to respond to a participant’s or a beneficiary’s request for plan documents. The term “Administrator” is...more

A Summary of Comments From the DOL Hearing on the Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule

On August 13, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) concluded a four day public hearing on its proposed conflict of interest rule (the “Proposed Rule”). The approximately 75 witnesses generally fell into two groups: the...more

Commenters React to DOL’s Proposed Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Four months after proposing a significantly expanded definition specifying when “investment advice” to employee plans and IRAs would give rise to fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the...more

A Statistic is meaningless if you’re bad at it

There was a law school in Southern California that has a bar passage rate of 7%, which means 93% of their graduates failed the test. They sued the California Bar on free speech grounds because they didn’t want to be forced to...more

ERISA: Clarity on When ERISA Applies to Working Owners of Small Companies

You probably already know that in small, wholly owned “mom and pop” businesses, benefits covering only the owners of the business may be exempt from ERISA....more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Ninth Circuit: Multiemployer Plan Calling Unpaid Contributions “Plan Assets” Does Not Make Persons Controlling Contribution...

The Ninth Circuit recently held that a multiemployer pension plan (MEP) cannot label unpaid contributions as “plan assets” so as to impose ERISA fiduciary status on persons controlling the payment of employer contributions to...more

The ACA Is (Apparently) Here To Stay: What Employers Need To Know

Now that the Supreme Court has, for the second time, upheld a major portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it might be a good time to review your practices to ensure you are in compliance. The ACA’s new concept of what it...more

IRS changes their Determination Letter Program

When I first started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, almost every plan I worked on except for standardized prototype plan documents were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a favorable determination letter to...more

Impact of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision on Employee Benefit Plans

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that states may not deny same-sex couples the right to marry, finding that doing so violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Kennedy...more

Is An Asset Purchaser Liable For Seller’s Withdrawal Liability?

Many asset buyers believe that, as long as they do not agree to ERISA Section 4204’s sale of assets exception to withdrawal liability, they will acquire the seller’s assets free and clear of any prior contribution history and...more

ERISA (Sixth Circuit) — Medical Reviews: You Need to Explain WHY You are Rejecting the Treating Physician’s Opinions; and Don’t...

You already know that you do not have to give special deference to the opinions of treating physicians. But you need to explain why the treating physician’s opinions are being rejected....more

Religious Institutions: August 2015

The decision by the United States Supreme Court on same-sex marriage has been greeted with praise and disdain by different corners of the country. The faith-based community has been especially outspoken. This is not...more

Limiting an Employee’s Hours to Avoid Offering Group Health Plan Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: Evaluating the Risks...

Business leaders and human resources and employee benefits professionals are well aware of potential minefields for employer group health plan sponsors under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employer plan sponsors are...more

2015 Mid-Year Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Welcome to the 2015 Mid-Year Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. The purpose is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive Alerts, on matters we...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

IRS Determination Letters No Longer Available After 2016

The IRS recently announced significant changes to its determination letter program that will become effective January 1, 2017. These changes essentially eliminate determination letters for individually designed plans that are...more

Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Air Lines

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of ERISA breach of fiduciary claims against Delta Air Lines and other alleged plan fiduciaries in connection with a defined contribution plan’s investments in Delta Air Lines stock. ...more

No Damages Awarded for ERISA Plan Fund Mapping Claims

Mapping in a 401(k) plan occurs when an investment option is removed and the participant’s investment in that option is transferred to a different investment option (absent direction from the participant). On remand from the...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

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